Satrurday night after we finally got Charlie the Humper to sleep, Bobby and I sat down on the couch with a couple of beers for our usual Saturday night playing catch up with our DVR. I had wanted to watch the premiere of the new Parenthood TV show on ABC but had missed it earlier in the week so we were planning to check it out. I LOVED the 1989 movie Parenthood. Loved it when I saw it in the theater twenty years ago, and have loved it during every cable repeat since. The Buckmans had their eccentricities but they were a great family. When you watched the movie depending on what stage of life you were in, you wanted to have those parents or be those parents. And it holds up. I still can’t walk away from that movie on cable.
We lasted twenty minutes before I asked Bobby if we could turn the Parenthood TV show off. Unlike the Buckmans who may be crotchedy or crazy, but all still maintain their warmth – the Bravermans are just sort of crappy. Which is too bad because I expected more from a cast that included Coach (Craig T. Nelson), Nate Fisher (Peter Krause) and Lorelei Gilmore (Lauren Graham). I understand that they were trying to show how there is real love underneath all the unpleasantness that makes up a family but it was so heavy on the uncomfortable, judgemental, biting moments that I just felt sad. Sad that families have to be that way. And I had to turn it off because in real life I have seen really ugly family moments or months or years and I don’t want to relive that on a TV show. I don’t consider bringing up all my emotional baggage and driving me to tears entertaining. It’s the same reason I don’t go see movies with names like Dying Young. I’ve seen enough real people do that so when I’m going to the movies I’d rather sit back and enjoy something a little lighter.
That’s why when we turned off Parenthood, we turned on The House Bunny. Best Decision Ever. The House Bunny rocked. Sure it was low brow and unrealistic, but it had heart. And as silly as the movie was it had a message. You know, that it doesn’t matter how hot you are – it’s what’s inside that counts? Cliché? For sure. True? Definitely. And I thought it was cool that a movie with fun makeover scenes and cute boys, was really about how it’s okay to be yourself. Because girls have it rough. I see the toys marketed to them and it’s all princesses and prom queens which is a lot to live up to. I had a terrible self image as a young girl. I never thought I was attractive. My mom, on the other hand, who looked exactly like me, I thought was gorgeous. The difference between us was that she always carried herself like she was the most important person in the room. And I always carried myself like I was the Disney tween star’s dorky side kick. The way we thought about ourselves really rubbed off on the way other people thought about us. And all I can say is I am so glad I have little boys and I promise I will teach them to give a second look to the girl with glasses and a ponytail.
Anyhow, loved The House Bunny. Loved Anna Faris. Loved Christopher McDonald. Loved Colin Hanks and Rumer Willis and Kat harine McFee and the guy from All American Rejects. Seriously, they all rocked it. And watching the movie made me feel good which is how I want to feel at the end of a movie. Is that such a bad thing?
Because ever since Sunday night when Sandra Bullock won the oscar for her performance in The Blind Side, I’ve been seeing all these mean messages on Facebook and the internet about how she didn’t deserve it. Why didn’t she deserve it? Obviously, the Academy members thought she did. Is she Meryl Streep? No. Did she have to be continually, horrifying abused in her movie? No. Do some people find the story behind her movie hokey? Sure. But you know what, those people need to let it go because it’s not some hokey work of fiction, it’s a true story. That woman really did save a boy’s life. And that boy is now a college graduate and a professional football player. That’s an awesome story and it’s the kind of story that should be told. These are the kind of people we should want to emmulate. And Sandra Bullock changed her look and her voice and her demeanor and made you believe she was that woman, so who cares if Miss Congeniality was a piece of crap? She’s been a successful working actress for years and she pulled off a performance that no one thought she had in her and yes, it was in a heartwarming film. Good for her. And good for the people like me who saw it and loved it. And good for the people out there who will benefit from the kindness of strangers who maybe learned something from such a nice movie. Entertainment doesn’t always have to be heavy and dark and twisted to be quality. I loved seeing the guy who adapted the screenplay for Precious win, even though that movie is too disturbing for me to ever watch. And I was thrilled for Kathryn Bigelow because, although I haven’t seen The Hurt Locker yet, I do plan to rent it, and I’m a huge fan of her earlier directorial work on Point Break which while not Oscar-worthy material was a hugely entertaining film. But mostly I was glad to see something upbeat win. Cause there’s not enough of that in the world.
And I know there are people out there who will see my defense of lighter forms of entertainment as a sign of lower intelligence. As I’ve mentioned before, I saw Fight Club with an ass who thought that my dislike for it meant it was over my head. I understood the movie, I just hated it. I also hated the douche who thought it went over my head. And he was shocked when he found out I didn’t like him. He was so self involved that it had never occurred to him that comments like that were rude and offensive. He actually felt really bad but it was too late. When you’re that much of a condensending jerk, I don’t think even the House Bunny can fix you.
The Academy Awards are this weekend and the fact that I see just about every movie that comes out, I feel the need to weigh in. I’m going to give you my predictions for who will win, and who should win. Let me state up front that I have some natural biases. My hatred for Avatar won’t allow me to select it for anything, even if I believe it might win something. I just can’t do it. I do the same thing with Fantasy Football. I can’t, and I won’t have any Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles or New York Giants on my squad. I can’t have them infecting my team. So that’s why I won’t let Avatar disgrace my ballot. There’s something in me that won’t allow it. Also, even though I know it’s not true, I want to believe the Academy will make the right decisions, so my belief in that will skew some of my choices. Again, it’s the same reason I believe The Washington Nationals will contend for the pennant this year after losing 100 games in each of the last two seasons. I need to believe. Anyway, here we go…
Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart
George Clooney – Up In The Air
Colin Firth – A Single Man
Morgan Freeman – Invictus
Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker
Will Win: Jeff Bridges. This is a one horse race this year. Even though Clooney did a great job in Up In The Air and Jeremy Renner vaulted himself into the public consciousness in The Hurt Locker, it’s all about Bridges. He’s long overdue for this award and his portrayal as Bad Blake, a country music legend that never quite got the recognition he deserved was phenomenal. Bridges has had an amazing career and it’s good that when the Academy finally recognizes him, it’s for a role that is truly deserving.
Should Win: Jeff Bridges. For all the reasons I gave you in the previous paragraph.
Actor in a Supporting Roll
Matt Damon – Invictus
Woody Harrelson – The Messenger
Christopher Plummer – The Last Station
Stanely Tucci – The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz – Inglorious Basterds
Will Win: Christoph Waltz. First off, I was leery of Inglorious Basterds. Mainly because I don’t think Brad Pitt can carry a movie. I think he’s good, but he has trouble handling the work load of a whole film. But that’s not what Inglorious Basterds was, and Waltz was unbelievable. I would argue that he has the biggest role in the film and that’s why it’s as good as it is. He’s awesome in it. He’s the villain for sure, but he plays it differently than you’ve seen villains, especially Nazi’s, played before. I have never seen this guy in anything before, and I don’t know how that’s possible. He should be a huge star. He’s definitely known in Europe, but it’s time he takes Hollywood by storm.
Should Win: Christoph Waltz. There really isn’t anyone in this category that can touch him this year. I think Matt Damon and Stanely Tucci are excellent actors, but it’s all about Waltz this season.
Actress in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Helen Mirren – The Last Station
Carey Mulligan – An Education
Gabourey Sidibe – Precious: Based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.
Will Win: Meryl Streep. She gets nominated every year, so it’s easy to just say they throw her in there because of her name. That’s not the case this year. She’s excellent in this film. Meryl Streep is an icon, but you forget that it’s her playing Julia Child, and that’s not an easy feat.
Should Win: This is a tough one. I didn’t see Precious because I didn’t want to spend two hours watching a teenager get beat by her mother and molested by her father. That sounds awful. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Sidibe, but since I didn’t see it, I can’t say she should win. I think it’s a battle between Streep and Mulligan. I’m going to go with Carey Mulligan. An Education could be very boring at times, but she was always compelling to watch. This girl is going to have a great career. If Streep or Sibide won, I would be fine with that.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Penelope Cruz – Nine
Vera Farmiga – Up In The Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal – Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick – Up In The Air
Mo’Nique – Precious: Based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.
Will Win: Mo’Nique. Again, I didn’t see Precious, but Mo’Nique has all the buzz. Whenever a comedian takes on a role this challenging and makes you believe, they are tough to beat. See Robin Williams and Tom Hanks for clarification. She looks terrifying in every scene I’ve watched. I don’t think anyone’s taking this from her.
Should Win: Anna Kendrick. I loved Up In The Air, and she was by far the best thing in it. Frankly, I’m surprised Vera Farmiga got nominated because she was the worst. But Kendrick made a jump in this movie. She’s destined to be a major star. I’m a huge Clooney fan, and he was great, but the movie suffered when Kendrick wasn’t on screen. That is saying something.
James Cameron – Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino – Inglorious Basterds
Lee Daniels – Precious: Based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.
Jason Reitman – Up In The Air
Will Win: Kathryn Bigelow. The Hurt Locker was an excellent film. It was intense, emotional, and it had some nice action. It’s a really good movie and Bigelow did an outstanding job of mixing all those elements together in a very enjoyable film. Cameron is probably the favorite here, but as I said, Avatar gets no love from me. Bigelow is Cameron’s ex wife, so that should mollify the Academy.
Should Win: Another tough call. I think Bigelow and Tarantino are both deserving, but I’m going with Jason Reitman. Part of this is that I’m in the tank for Reitman. Juno and Thank You For Smoking are two of my favorite films over the last few years and Up In The Air is a great follow up. I think what it comes down to is that I want him to win.
The Blind Side
The Hurt Locker
Precious: Based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.
A Serious Man
Will Win: The Hurt Locker. I have to believe that the Academy will not reward a two hour video game and instead give it to a movie that actually has something to say and be entertaining at the same time.
Should Win: I’m struggling with this one. The Hurt Locker is definitely deserving, but I’m going to say Inglorious Basterds. I liked Up In The Air better, but Inglorious Basterds was a fun movie that had a surprising amount of depth. The acting was sensational and I enjoyed every minute of this film. Sure, Tarantino threw history out the window, but who cares. Really great film. I’d be psyched if they gave this film the nod. I’d also be fine with either The Hurt Locker or Up In The Air. If anything else wins, it’s criminal.
There you have it. I’m not going to predict things like Best Animated Film because I didn’t see any of them, and I don’t care. I didn’t put any other categories because you probably don’t care about them. Have fun watching the Oscars this weekend. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin should put on a great show. And if you feel the need, root against Avatar. The fate of the movies you will see in the future depends on it. Because if it wins, it’ll be cartoons and 3D everywhere you look. I don’t want to think what this world will be like if that happens.
Let me be the first to say – Barry Mangelo is no stranger to irrational hatred. I’ve devoted much time here at Best Worst Things to that which I dislike and lord knows there’s a lot. My bile knows no limits, my hatred no bounds. I hate Susan Sarandon, olives, every song by Journey and people who dress up in pun-related costumes for Halloween (the next person I see wearing a Cereal Killer costume is going to get a nut punch) The sheer weight of my hatred is even a bit much for me sometimes – I hate how much I hate things.
But of all the things I despise, there is nothing that riles me more than Duke University and the Duke University men’s basketball team. In my mind, the Blue Devils are bastions of pure evil, a cabal of malevolent miscreants rooted on by a crowd of over-privileged dicks with white men’s overbites and popped up collars.
My intense hatred was born and bred in College Park, MD. It’s been said that you are not a true alumnus of the University of Maryland if A) you don’t know James Bond and B) you don’t hate Duke with an undying passion. And the unleashing of that hatred is pure pleasure. It’s a Festivus-style Airing of the Grievances.
To us, Duke represents everything wrong with the world. And this hatred becomes a bond – it unites us. We proud, few Terrapins – people from every different background, ethnicity and nationality – come together in the bonds of mutual disgust. It’s like what happened in Independence Day, where the world led by the Bill Pullman and the Fresh Prince, ignored racial, religious and political differences to defend their planet against the alien horde.
Obviously, it’s easy to hate a winner. To the University of Maryland, Duke has always been that unbeatable foe, that immovable object. We are forever the struggling underdog – like John Conner fighting the Terminator, or Ripley fighting the Alien or human decency struggling to survive Glen Beck. But make no mistake, despite what you might hear from Carlos Boozer’s mom (who gets a concussion from an empty water bottle?) we are the good guys here.
Honestly, what’s not to hate about Duke? Coach K and his smarmy nasal, banality? The ridiculous floor pounding of Wojo? Shane Battier’s misshapen, wrinkled forehead? JJ Reddick and his awesome poetry? John Scheyer and his stupid face? I hate his stupid face.
And the fans… the so called Cameron Crazies. Lemmings – the lot of them. They bounce up and down in unison, defying gravity with their collective sense of entitlement.
So tonight, I’m heading to College Park to see what will hopefully be the best college game of the year. If Maryland wins, they’ll tie Duke for first place in the ACC (for those non-sports fans, I’m not sure what a good equivalent would be… maybe making it to the second round of Top Chef or something).
And should we win the day, the 3rd of March will no longer be known as the birthday of Tore Ørjasæter, the famed Norwegian poet, but as the day when the world declared in one voice:
“We will not go quietly into the night!
We will not vanish without a fight!
We’re going to live on!
We’re going to survive!”
Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!
An Addendum: The game was awesome. Go terps!
On Monday night, I put myself through something really ugly. I watched the finale of the most recent installment of ABC’s The Bachelor. This one subtitled “On the Wings of Love” because the man looking for love is a pilot. Just typing that makes me want to throw up a little. Imagine how I felt when at the end of the program, Bachelor Jake and the girl he picked to be his wife, were serenaded on stage by Jeffrey Osborne singing live for them? I think I may have gone slightly blind. And deaf.
Why did I do this to myself you ask? I have no idea. I think it was because as a subscriber to US Weekly, I had been bombarded by stories of how nasty one of Jake’s final two women was and I just had to watch it play out. Sad, I know. And it ended just as my favorite magazine predicted it would; with Jake dumping sweet, naive, trusting Tenley for Vienna, a redneck Hooters waitress. And not the kind of Hooters waitress who is just using what God gave her to help pay for medical school. No, Vienna is the kind whose boobs and hair extensions are the only thing faker than her crazy split personality. Honestly, I was glad he picked her because they deserve each other. Jake is a cry baby tool with a smug grin and zero charisma. Bob walked in when I was watching one of the earlier episodes of the show and thought I was watching SOAP net because the lighting and Jake’s hair and the fact that he was crying while saying something like “I just have to follow my heart, even though it’s breaking” screamed daytime drama.
When it was over, I vowed to boycott all future Bachelor and Bachelorette shows including next Monday’s big event Jason & Molly’s Wedding which ABC is calling “the year’s greatest love story”. Really? The year’s greatest love story was some unknown tool picking one girl to be his wife and offering her a ring on national television and then a few months later coming back on TV and saying “oops, I made a mistake; I should have picked the other girl”. That’s romantic? Cause it sounds totally douchey to me. Not that the first girl was all that broken up about it since she parlayed her dumping into numerous other TV gigs and has already married someone else . Wow, dreams really do come true.
So anyhow, I was hoping since I’m swearing off all Bachelor related programming that my time in hell with Jake and Vienna was over. But nooooo…..ABC had to throw a wrench in my plans by announcing at the end of the show that Jake will be the eleventh “celebrity” contestant on the new Dancing with the Stars. Now, I know you’re thinking, well, do you HAVE to watch DWTS? And the answer of course is, yes, because one of the other ten contestants is Shannon Doherty and you know I can’t say no to Brenda Walsh. Despite her horrible teeth and vicious personality, she is one of my best friends.
Actually, now that I think about it, would a real BFF want me to continue to endure the pain and horror that reality TV inflicts on me? I think not. It’s time I pulled a Kelly Taylor and chose me. Goodbye reality TV. The rest of you will have to endure watching Jake, who will undoubtedly dance to “On the Wings of Love” while Vienna sits adoringly in the audience wiping wing sauce off her chin and giving dirty looks to all the other girls, by yourself.
I know many of you think I can’t swear off reality TV entirely, but you’re wrong. You see as much as I love cheesy TV, I hate being a party to the advancement of people I don’t like. And I don’t like people like Kate Gosselin or Donald Trump. I don’t like the cast of Jersey Shore. And I really don’t like Hooters – the wings are horrible.
And I’ve realized that by watching these crappy shows when I could be reading or talking on the phone or making out with Bobby, I’m helping these talentless losers stay famous. And I’m helping them get swag and free trips to St Lucia! There is no way I can be a party to that.
So, I’ll stick to scripted television and get my dancing fix by watching Brenda shimmy with Kelly, Donna and Emily Valentine on SOAPnet. Clearly, she’ll be walking home with that disco ball trophy. Too bad I won’t be watching.
I saw Shutter Island this week and it’s safe to say I was disappointed. Not that it was a bad movie, but I just didn’t like it. I felt as if I’ve seen this kind of movie hundreds of times. There just wasn’t anything original about it. I think my biggest problem with the film is that I expect too much out of Martin Scorsese. I mean the movie was well made. The acting was fine. Unfortunately it’s a tired concept and I expect way more out of Scorsese. This is the guy who directed Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The Color of Money, Cape Fear, The Age of Innocence, and The Departed just to name a few. That’s a stellar resume. So when he puts out a film, you expect it to live up to his standard. I realize this is totally unfair. You can’t hit a home run every time. But you can expect him to find good material. I have to think that he has his pick of all the best scripts coming out of Hollywood. Why he chose this ridiculous mess makes no sense. So it’s very disappointing on a number of levels. Not only was the movie uninteresting, his taste level in scripts is clearly slipping. I hate when that happens. I guess we could have seen the signs coming. As great as The Departed was, and it was spectacular, that last scene where the rat shows up was horrible. I was an English major in college and I like symbolism more than most, but that is elementary school symbolism. People in Film Schools all across the country would get laughed out of class for something that obvious and over the top. I can’t believe someone didn’t talk him out of it. “Listen, Martin, you’ve made a brilliant film, don’t scar it with this scene. It doesn’t need it.” I don’t know, maybe he’s such an icon, no one will say anything to him. This movie has made me leery of him.
Unfortunately, I tend to do this to Directors, Actors, Musicians and Authors that I like. You get so entranced by how much you enjoy their work, that when they fail you, it stings. Very rarely do people live up to the hype. It happens sometimes. Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and Lebron James have all lived up to their hype. Even more so. But they are the exceptions. In my world, here are a few things where my expectations were probably too great.
I couldn’t wait for Elizabethtown to come out. Cameron Crowe is by far my favorite movie writer and director. He wrote Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and he wrote and directed Say Anything, Singles, Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous. Yes, I omitted Vanilla Sky for two reasons. First, he adapted that screenplay. And secondly, it was terrible. I’m not blaming him because it wasn’t his story. We’ll just pretend it never happened. But Elizabethtown was supposed to get him back on the right track. When it came out, it certainly did not live up to my expectations. It had one major problem…Orlando Bloom. He was just the wrong guy for that role. Ashton Kutcher was originally cast, but he couldn’t the handle the material. Either could Bloom. Some people will say that Kirsten Dunst also drove them crazy, but I kind of liked her in the film. She drives me nuts in other things, but I thought she did a good job here. The script wasn’t that bad, but it couldn’t overcome Orlando Bloom butchering every scene. The movie succeeds once he gets to Elizabethtown. Every person in that town was spot on. My whole family is from the south, and Cameron Crowe did a superb job in casting the people of that town. Over the years, I’ve softened my stance on this film. It deals with losing a father and once that happened to me, the movie took on a different and more personal meaning. Like all Cameron Crowe movies, the music was spectacular. Tom Petty lent a few songs and they fit the mood perfectly. If I had been casting this film, I would have cast Paul Schneider, the guy who played Bloom’s cousin Jesse, as the lead. He would have brought so much more to the table. Schneider is currently racking up the laughs on Parks and Recreation. He’s a fantastic actor and should get more opportunities. I wanted to love Elizabethtown like I love Almost Famous, but it has too many flaws to be in that category. Even though it disappointed, it won’t stop me from seeing his next film. My expectations for Cameron Crowe are still through the roof.
Nelson Demille wrote my favorite book of all time, The Gold Coast. I’ve lent that book to over twenty people in my life, and they all loved it. It’s great. Through the early 90’s, I read all of his stuff, and he never disappointed. As the decade ended, I starting liking his stuff less and less. I had given up on him, until I heard he was doing a sequel to The Gold Coast. I couldn’t wait to read The Gate House. Once I did, I wish he never had written it. It was almost like a different author wrote it. All the characters were the same and so was the voice, but it lacked the humor and richness of the original. Again, my expectations were too high. There’s no way it could have lived up to them. Trying to match your masterpiece is probably very daunting. It’s also impossible.
Marshall Crenshaw is arguably my favorite singer/songwriter ever. I really enjoy his music, and I have ever since he released his eponymous debut, Marshall Crenshaw. There isn’t a bad song on that album. It’s flawless and it’s probably my favorite album of all time. Over the years he has released a lot of albums and I have liked them all. For whatever reason, I didn’t hold him to the standard of the original. His music evolved in a very nice way. I liked its progression. He never disappointed me until last year, when he put out Jaggedland. That album does absolutely nothing for me. It’s kind of boring. It’s a little more bluesy than he normally does, but even the lyrics weren’t as strong. I can’t tell you how disappointed as I was. But it’s the only time in over 25 years he’s put out something I didn’t think was great. Marshall gets a pass. I’ll be buying his next record.
There are other things that didn’t meet my expectations like all the movies of M. Night Shymalan after The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. The movies of Wes Anderson after Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. All the songs, except Supernova, off of Liz Phair’s album Whip-Smart. Every season of One Tree Hill since they graduated High School. The fact that Ted Danson did that show Becker. Hopefully I’ll learn to gauge my expectations, but I couldn’t be more psyched for the Arrested Development movie or the next R.E.M album. I believe the hype. I probably always will.
I was planning on writing about the Winter Olympics this week. I had so much to say about the relative attractiveness of the female athletes (Lindsay Vonn, not that hot. Various women’s curling teams – surprisingly attractive) and how awesome some of the fringe sports are – the X-Gamey ones that are more like video games than actual athletic competitions.
But alas, something has arisen that’s more important. As many of you are I’m sure aware, Andrew Koenig , TV’s Boner Stabbone from the hit sit-com Growing Pains, and my bosom Facebook companion, has recently been reported missing – coincidentally last seen in Vancouver. His father – Chekov from Star Trek – said that shortly before his disappearance he sent a despondent letter. His parents seem to fear the worst.
Of all my fake celebrity friends on Facebook, Boner was my favorite – better than Jean Claude Van Damme, Raven Simone and David Faustino combined (I actually defriended Bud Bundy – the guy was a pain in the ass. Every time I logged on, David Faustino was suggesting I become a fan of David Faustino – what an effing douche.)
Shortly after he accepted my friend request, Boner wished me a happy birthday. How nice is that? It kinda made my day and it sent him past Dennis Blundin to the head of the class (Although, when I was playing Farmville – don’t judge – it was AWESOME when Frank Black used to fertilize my crops. Go ahead and try to tell me that’s not at least a little cool).
And now he’s missing, and quite possibly dead. Boner would my second celeb FB friend to pass this year, the first being Ken Ober – the esteemed host of MTV’s Remote Control. Disturbingly, Ken’s FB page remains active. I look at it every once in a while, and friends are still posting, wishing him well and sending him posthumous super-pokes. I guess it’s going to be like that for all of us – we’ve created a lasting presence on the interweb that even death cannot erase. It’s like heaven for the socially maladjusted.
Boner’s FB account is still active, but I can no longer have access to any of his info. I really do wish him the best and hope that he resurfaces in Vancouver, maybe with a couple Russian curlers in tow. If any one person deserves to have his stones thrown, it’s Boner.
Celebrity gossip website, The Frisky, put out a list last week of 14 celebs who are jerks in person. The list was based on the personal experiences of journalists who work on the site. Naturally, a list like this intrigued me.
Some of the names were what you would expect. Jennifer Lopez is a bitch? Not exactly shocking news. Bill Cosby is condescending? I was pretty sure of that already. Danny Glover is a jerk? Bobby’s been hankering to get in a fist fight with that guy for years. Constantine Maroulis from American Idol is a douche? I believe it. In fact, I’m pretty sure all the American Idols who got their fifteen minutes and then missed out on Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood style fame and instead got stuck doing things like playing the Teen Angel in Broadway’s latest rival of Grease (yes, I’m talking to you Taylor Hicks) are probably pretty angry and obnoxious.
So the list seemed pretty real and I believe that the journalists who had problems with the celebs really did get a hard time from them. Living that kind of entitled lifestyle probably makes even the nicest person act like an ass once in a while. That said, I was sad to hear that Ludacris is a dick and I hope it was just an off day for him. I appreciated that he always warned everyone to watch out for his medallion cause his diamonds were reckless and I felt empathy for the pain that he must have endured when it felt like a midget was hanging from his necklace. I also really hope Nicole Ritchie isn’t a total bitch. I’ve always really liked her and thought she seemed sort of real for someone living a life that is so unreal to most of us.
There are two celebrities on the list of dicks who I have actually run into in real life.
Henry Rollins sat next to me and Bobby in the Rio Grande in Bethesda years ago. We didn’t talk to him but we shared the same really crappy waiter and we giggled watching how mad Rollins got when he constantly had to wait what seemed like hours for his ice tea refills. He was performing that night in DC and we considered trying to get tickets just to see if he came out on stage and said “This song is about the really horrible service I had at the Rio Grande today. It’s called ‘Asshole, I’m thirsty, bring me my fucking ice tea!’”. I don’t think being thirsty and anxious for a beverage refill while eating spicy food makes you a jerk. It was actually kind of funny. So I’m going to reserve my judgment on Henry. Under the gruff exterior, I think he’s probably a really good guy.
I have heard stories before about John Cusack being a real life dick and I’ve always ignored them because the time I met Cusack, I did everything possible to make him act like a dick and he never did.
It was the summer of 1991; I was fresh off major pancreas surgery and looking good. My friend Nancy and I went out for drinks at RJ Bentley’s in College Park, MD. Since it was summer, we weren’t expecting a crowd and had just gone there because her dad was part owner and we were poor. All of a sudden, I see this guy across the bar that looks totally familiar to me and Nancy. I am sure we know him but I can’t place him which I attribute to how drunk I am.
So I walk up to the guy and say “I’m Molly and I know we know each other – did you go to St Mary’s?” The guy laughs and says no. I’m like “well, are you from Annapolis?” Again, he laughs. I am relentless and ask his name. He says “John”. I’m all like “John. Hmmm. I know a lot of Johns. What’s your last name?” He smiles and says “Cusack”. Nancy is about to pee her pants. I am still clueless. “Cusack. That sounds so familiar. John Cusack. I know I know you. Holy Shit – YOU’RE JOHN CUSACK”.
At this point Cusack (who is way taller and broader than I expected) and his friend try to quiet us down and tell us that they’re trying to keep a low profile (Cusack has a beard) so could we please keep quiet about them being there. We’re like, oh sure, and I have a whole conversation with Cusack where I can’t remember anything he’s been in but I blurt out “I loved your sister Joan in Working Girl!” I could not have been more of a tool. Good thing that pancreas surgery had helped me lose 15 pounds from everything but my chest or I’m sure he would have walked away.
Anyhow, I decide that I have to buy him a drink but before I buy it, I want to see his driver’s license so I can make sure I’m not “buying a drink for some John Cusack impersonator”. Yes, I carded Lloyd Dobler. And yes, he was legit. When I get up to the bar there is a line and no one is letting me cut so I just shout out “Excuse me, but I’m trying to buy a beer for JOHN CUSACK and he’s right over there!” Everyone stops to look at Cusack who grabs his friend, says good bye to Nancy and bolts. Hours later when Nancy and I stumbled out and walked past The Vous, Cusack and his friend were in there drinking. The friend yelled “there’s the girls who chased us out of Bentleys” or something like that. We just kept going.
My point in telling you this whole long John Cusack story is that any celebrity who could be that nice to someone as drunk and stupid as I was that night, cannot be a total douche. No matter how many times I hear that Cusack isn’t nice, I will just keep assuming that like all of us, he has had some bad days and on his good days, he’s the guy we all want him to be. His former BFF Jeremy Piven, however, I think may be a real live douche. But that’s just speculation.
The thing about deciding who is a jerk and who is an angel is that it’s pretty subjective. Everyone gets grumpy. Maybe you had to interview someone on the day his dog died or he stubbed his toe really bad or he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Some days I wake up feeling like being a bitch and I have to fight it to be nice because when you spend all your time with small children being a bitch doesn’t really cut it. Some days are harder than others for everyone. I’m sure if I became famous there would be people lined up wanting to tell you what a jerk I am. And those people would be wrong about me. I hope some of the people who had bad experiences with Rollins and Luda and Ritchie were wrong, too. And until it’s proven otherwise, I’m staying objective.